1910 Fruitgum Company

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The 1910 Fruitgum Company performing live on November 17, 2007

Background information
Origin Linden, New Jersey, United States
Genres Bubblegum pop
Years active 1965–1969, 2007–present
Labels Buddah
Members Frank Jeckell
Mick Mansuetto
Bob Brescia
Glenn Lewis
Keith Crane
Past members Mark Gutkowski
Floyd Marcus
Steve Mortkowitz
Pat Karwan
Rusty Oppenheimer
Isaac Hirsch
Mike Edell
The 1910 Fruitgum Company is an American bubblegum pop band of the 1960s. The group’s Billboard Hot 100 hits were “Simon Says”, “May I Take A Giant Step”, “1, 2, 3, Red Light”, “Goody Goody Gumdrops”, “Indian Giver”, “Special Delivery”, and “The Train”.

The band began as Jeckell and The Hydes in New Jersey in 1965. The original members were Mark Gutkowski, Floyd Marcus, Pat Karwan, Steve Mortkowitz, and Frank Jeckell – all from Linden, New Jersey.

During 1967, they were signed to Buddah Records, where they released five LPs under their own name and a variety of singles, as well as appearing on the LP The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus, which sounded like the usual Buddah studio band in spite of its promotion as a “bubblegum superjam”. Their first hit single, “Simon Says”, was written by Elliot Chiprut. During the recording process, the band changed the beat and patterned the song after “Wooly Bully” by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. “Simon Says” soon became a success, hitting #4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The track peaked at #2 on the UK Singles Chart and was heard in the 1968 Frederick Wiseman documentary High School.

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The original five members of the 1910 Fruitgum Company circa 1966; photo taken at the home of Floyd Marcus.
The band started touring, opening for major acts such as The Beach Boys. They went on to release the hits “Simon Says”, “May I Take a Giant Step”, “1, 2, 3, Red Light” (U.S. #5), “Special Delivery” (U.S. #25) ,”Goody, Goody Gumdrops”, and “Indian Giver” (U.S. #5).

The original group disbanded in 1970.

Mark Gutkowski, the original lead singer, last performed in 1977 in Europe with the Ohio Express, The Hollies and The Music Explosion.

Early during the 21st century, original members Frank Jeckell and Floyd Marcus put the act back together, along with a few musicians, and started touring again. They performed a concert on November 17, 2007 at the Caravan of Stars XIV, in Henderson, Tennessee. Also appearing at the show were Dickey Lee, Jimmy Gilmer, Carol Conners (of The Teddy Bears), Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, Jim Yester (of The Association), Jerry Yester (of The Lovin’ Spoonful), and Eddie Brigati (of The Young Rascals).

 

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